Running for exercise is a great way to maintain good health, but it can also be a source of injury. Approximately 50 to 75% of running injuries are overuse injuries1, meaning that they happen over time through repetitive movement rather than because of a single traumatic event.

Overuse injuries often occur when a person begins or intensifies a running routine without adequate stretching and muscle conditioning. Alternatively, a seasoned runner may acquire an overuse injury over several months or even years of training.

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Experts estimate that injury rates are higher for runners who log 40 or more miles per week2, and runners who have had previous injuries.3

This article reviews the most common running injuries, including brief descriptions of how they occur and what symptoms they cause.

The most common running injuries tend to occur in the knees, feet and ankles, calves and shins. Other weight-bearing areas, such as the back, hips and thighs, are also susceptible to injury.

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References:

  1. van Mechelen W. Running injuries. A review of the epidemiological literature. Sports Med. 1992 Nov;14(5):320-35. Review. PubMed PMID: 1439399.
  2. Gallo RA, Plakke M, Silvis ML. Common Leg Injuries of Long-Distance Runners: Anatomical and Biomechanical Approach. Sports Health. 2012 Nov;4(6):485-495. Review. PubMed PMID: 24179587; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3497945.
  3. Wen DY. Risk factors for overuse injuries in runners. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2007 Oct;6(5):307-13. Review. PubMed PMID: 17883966.
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